Register and style

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Register and style

  1. 1. register and style formal versus informal
  2. 2. anglo-saxon vs romanceThe first thing one notices in formal English isthat most words used are of Romance origin.These can be recognized by: French spelling Latin origin usually one-word verbs
  3. 3. the social dimensionA writer enters into a relationship with hisreaders; an audience he is not familiar with. Itis the convention to take a formal standtowards this audience, for reasons of respect,certainly not for reasons of conceit.
  4. 4. taking distanceFormal writing demands impersonalconstructions in which we use:Passive constructions that take away the agent;Abstract nouns and nominalisations.
  5. 5. taking distanceBe reminded, though, that passive sentencesand a lot of nominalisations can makesentences unclear to the reader. Sometimes anactive sentence can be better for the sake ofclarity.
  6. 6. exampleI measured the temperature and checked if thefluid was still transparent.becomes:The fluid was measured and checked fortransparency.
  7. 7. contractionsContracted or abbreviated verbs pretend to imitate ourspeaking habits. Therefore, writing skills do not allowverb contractions but only fully-written verbs.Compare:He doesnt .... He does not....Id like...... I would like....Please note:Hed better research... He had better research...It cant be concluded... It cannot be concluded...
  8. 8. contracted verbsAvoiding to use fully-written verbs could givethe impression that the author is not seriousabout his topic, creating thus a possible risk ofa breech of trustworthiness by the reader.

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